Fr Pat O’Mahony SMA led the Mass and Reconciliation Service on the 6th evening of the Novena in honour of Our Lady. During the Mass, Fr O’Mahony shared the following reflections:
Tonight we gather here on the 6th Night of the Novena to Our Lady. We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, which are so intimately linked.
Tonight we bring once again before God, our hopes, joys, our struggles and our chaos. In other words we bring our very selves. So we are coming before God as we are, before a God who knows us better than we know ourselves, and better than we want to know ourselves sometimes.
When we are weighed by Sin, or any addiction which may have taken hold of us, we do not need to be pushed further into the gutter, but we need someone to “lift us up and help us to start again”.
As Jean Vanier said: The person in misery does not need a look that judges or criticises, but a comforting presence that brings Peace, Hope and renewed life to us
Joel tells us in the Reading “turn to the Lord again, for he is all tenderness and compassion. Slow to anger and rich in graciousness”.
In the Call to Matthew we have Jesus saying “I have come not to call the virtuous but sinners to repentance”
The great consolation for us all is that God understands us and can see what we are capable of becoming. God’s love and mercy beckon us forward. He comes looking for us who have lost our way, with the promise of forgiveness and peace and we are welcomed back to the best of who we are. Through this encounter Grace happens and our relations with one another and with God are repaired
Tonight put our trust in our God and take the words of St Augustine as our own:
“We leave the past to God’s Mercy, the present to God’s Love and the future to God’s providence” Amen.